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31
OCT
2016

1995 Nigerian Activist Ken Saro-Wiwa sentenced to death over rights of Ogoniland

That is the voice of Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa a Nigerian writer, television producer, environmental activist, and winner of the Right Livelihood Award and the Goldman Environmental Prize.

On this day, the 31st of October 1995, Nigerian political activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa is one of eight people sentenced to death for the death of four Ogoni leaders.

Saro-Wiwa was a member of the Ogoni people, an ethnic minority in Nigeria whose homeland, Ogoniland, in the Niger Delta has been targeted for crude oil extraction since the 1950s and which has suffered extreme environmental damage from decades of indiscriminate petroleum waste dumping.

Initially as spokesperson, and then as president, of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, Saro-Wiwa led a nonviolent campaign against environmental degradation of the land and waters of Ogoniland by the operations of the multinational petroleum industry, especially the Royal Dutch Shell company. He was also an outspoken critic of the Nigerian government, which he viewed as reluctant to enforce environmental regulations on the foreign petroleum companies operating in the area.

At the peak of his non-violent campaign, he was tried by a special military tribunal for allegedly masterminding the gruesome murder of Ogoni chiefs at a pro-government meeting, and hanged in 1995 by the military dictatorship of General Sani Abacha
06
SEP
2016

1966 Dimitri Tsafendas stabbed architect of apartheid Hendrik Verwoed to death

On this day, the 6th of September 1966, Parliamentarian Service Officer Dimitri Tsafendas stabbed to death the architect of apartheid Prime Hendrik F. Verwoed. A prior attempt on his life since becoming Prime Minister was on the 9 April 1961, at the Rand Easter Show, where he was shot twice in the face.

Verwoed was sitting at his desk in the House of Assembly when Tsafendas attacked him with a knife. During his trial, Tsafendas claimed that a giant tapeworm inside of him had instructed him to kill the Prime Minister. He escaped the death sentence after being declared insane by state psychiatrists. He was sentenced to solitary confinement at the Pretoria Central Prison, where he died at the age of 81. Members of the Greek community in Krugersdorp buried him.
05
SEP
2016

1984 P.W. Botha was unanimously elected President of South Africa

That was the voice of former South African Prime Minister, P.W. Botha who on this day the 5th of September 1984 was unanimously elected by 88 members of the Electoral College to the office of first executive president. This was a newly created position after the new constitution came into force in 1984. The constitution further created three houses of parliament, namely the House of Assembly for Whites, the House of Representatives for Coloureds, and House of Delegates for Indians with the president presiding over them. Botha held the position until he resigned in 1989. Black South Africans were not happy with these new developments as they viewed the new constitution as a means to enhance apartheid.
02
SEP
2016

2014 Advocate Pansy Tlakula announced her resignation as Chairperson of the IEC

That was the voice of Advocate Pansy Tlakula who on this day, the 2nd of September 2014, announced her resignation as Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). She submitted her letter of resignation to President Jacob Zuma and was appointed the IEC's Chairperson in 2001.

In August 2013, Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, found that Tlakula had flouted procurement regulations in securing a R320-million lease for the IEC's head office in Centurion, Pretoria, and had an "unmanaged conflict of interest" as a result of a separate and undisclosed business relationship with business associate, Thaba Mufamadi. A forensic investigation by the National Treasury made similar findings. It found that Tlakula had not given guidance or formally informed various people what was expected of them in the process.
01
SEP
2016

1969 Muammar Gaddafi seized power in Libya after a coup d'etat

That was the voice of Libya's former leader, Muammar Gaddafi who on this day the 1st of September 1969 seized power in Libya after a coup d'etat. Gaddafi, the leader of the Free Unionist Officers movement, overthrew the monarchical rule of King Idris, who had ruled Libya since its independence in December 1951. After his deposition the king went into exile in Egypt.

In 1970, leaders of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) visited Libya to negotiate the use of Libyan territory for military training purposes for its armed wing, the Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA). In 1974 Libya permitted not just the PAC but also other South African political organizations fighting Apartheid to use Libyan territory for military training. What further encouraged Libyan support for the PAC was its alliance to Qibla, a South African Muslim guerrilla movement. Other than the PAC and Qibla, other anti-Apartheid organizations that received Libyan support were the Black People's Convention (BPC) and the South African Students Organization (SASO). Later, the ANC also began using Libya as a military training base for some of its cadres in Libya.

In 1997, after the fall of Apartheid, Nelson Mandela, accompanied by Graça Machel and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Alfred Nzo, defied the international isolation of Libya and visited Muammar Gaddafi. The delegation flew from the Tunisian resort island of Djerba to the Libyan border town of Ras Adjir and then completed the 160 km journey to the Libyan capital of Tripoli by road due to an air embargo imposed on Libya by the United Nations.
31
AUG
2016

1997 Princess Diana died with companion Dodi Fayed in car accident in France

That was the voice of the late Princess of Wales, Lady Diana Spencer, the former wife of Prince Charles who on this day the 31st of August 1997 was killed with her companion Dodi Fayed in a car accident in Paris. Her funeral was broadcast in South Africa by the SABC with the the Funeral Speech or the Eulogy to Diana Princess of Wales given by her brother Earl Charles Spencer, who lives in South Africa. Princess Diana had come to visit him in South Africa in March 1997. She met former South African President Nelson Mandela during this time.

Princess Diana was, best known for her charitable work - notably publicising work on behalf of people with HIV/Aids, the plight of the homeless, the isolation of lepers, and the random destruction of landmines.
12
JUL
2016

On 9 July 1998 President Nelson Mandela visited England.

That is the voice of Elizabeth II, who has been since her accession in 1952, Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and Head of the Commonwealth.

On 9 July 1998 President Nelson Mandela visited England. On 12 July 1998 he concluded his four-day visit to England by accompanying Queen Elizabeth II on a coach drive through the streets of London. Mandela had stayed at the Buckingham Palace as an honored guest of the Queen and addressed a joint meeting of Parliament at a packed Westminster Hall. In a BBC documentary, Mandela repeatedly referred to Queen Elizabeth II as "my friend, Elizabeth".
07
JUL
2016

1996, Nelson Mandela Retired from retirement

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 7 July 1996

It's that time again when we look at an event that took place on this day years gone by. Take a listen to this clip, tell us who is speaking and what event took place on this day, the 7th of July 1996 relating to the speaker

CLIP: HISTORY- MANDELA Retirement

ANSWER: That was the voice of Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela.

On this day, the 7th of July 1996, the la President Nelson Mandela confirmed the rumours that he would not stand for re-election in 1999.

In this in accordance to what he had initially said when he was sworn in as the country's first democratic president in 1994. The South African constitution stipulates that a president can only serve for two terms as the head of state.

Mandela felt one term was enough as he had already laid the foundation for a better future for all. Mandela did not publicly choose his successor.

This may have been to the fierce competition between Thabo Mbeki and Cyril Ramaphosa, who were both favourites for the position.

Mbeki was ultimately elected ANC president in 1997, thus putting him in line of the country's presidency ahead of Ramaphosa
06
JUL
2016

2004, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria is elected as the chairperson of the AU

ANSWER: That was the voice Olusegun Okikiola Are-mu Obasanjo, a former Nigerian Army general who was President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007

On this day, the 6th of July 2004, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria is elected as the chairperson of the African Union for a year.

A Nigerian of Yoruba descent, Obasanjo was a career soldier before serving twice as his nation's head of state, as a military ruler from 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979 and as a democratically elected president from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007.
05
JUL
2016

1990: Tsietsi Mashinini died under strange circumstances in Guinea Conakry

That was the voice of Teboho "Tsietsi" MacDonald Mashinini, a leader of the June 1976 student Uprisings which began in Soweto and spread across South Africa.

On this day, the 5th of July 1990, Teboho "Tsietsi" Mashinini died under strange circumstances in Conakry, Guinea.

Mashinini was hospitalised with multiple injuries, apparently sustained following an attack - he died few days after his admission into hospital.

According to reports Mashinini's left eye had fallen in, his left ear bleeding and had a deep mark on his face and a large scar on his forehead.

His body was transported from West Africa to South Africa for the burial. When he landed at what was then DF Malan International Airport, the apartheid government wanted to arrest his corpes.

The epitaph on his tombstone reads: "At the height of struggle, he gave impetus to the liberation struggle".

NB:In fact if you missed our conversation in commemoration of the June 16 uprising, with former Azapo leader Professor Itumeleng Mosala on the story of Tsietsi Mashinene, we have tweeted the link on timeline and have posted it on Facebook on AM Live at Safm... You can also go to our Website safm.co.za
09
FEB
2015

9 February 1955: Families forcefully moved from Sophiatown to Soweto

It was in the early hours on 9 February 1955 when around 2 000 policemen, armed with guns, knobkerries and rifles, forcefully moved the families of Sophiatown to Meadowlands, Soweto. Their possessions were loaded at the back of police trucks, and dumped in Meadowlands where they were forced to stay. With their children, these families were exposed to cold and rainy weather conditions. According to a notice, residents were supposed to be moved on 12 February 1955, but the government caught them by surprise. The forced removals were part of the government's countrywide apartheid plan to turn the residential and business areas of cities and towns white. A new, white suburb was built on the ruins of Sophiatown and named Triomf, which translates to "triumph". In June of thesame year (1955), the Freedom Charter was adopted at Kliptown, where Africans, Indians, Coloured and Whites came together in a dramatic event that took two days. In 2006 Sophiatown was renamed by Johannesburg Mayor Amos Masondo.
02
FEB
2015

2 February 1990: FW de Klerk announces the release of Nelson Mandela

2nd February, 1990, The announcement by President FW de Klerk to release Nelson Mandela and unban the African National Congress (ANC), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and other liberation movements was received with mixed feelings inside and outside Parliament. Black and White South Africans celebrated the news as they were optimistic that the country was taking a turn for the better. In Cape Town, Archbishop Mpilo Desmond Tutu was at St George's Cathedral with his congregation ready to celebrate an event he considered as the Second Coming. It is believed that de Klerk's decision to release Mandela and to unban political parties was the result of the following factors. Firstly, South Africa had been isolated through international trade sanctions to the extent that the South African economy was severely handicapped. Coupled with this, the multiple States of Emergency measures enacted by the Apartheid State had consistently failed to quell the uprisings. Lastly South Africa was almost totally isolated from the international community in terms of cultural and sporting events. This milestone was followed by tension-driven negotiations aimed at transferring power from white minority to the majority of South Africans. Though it brought about democracy, this journey was not totally without obstacles. These ranged from intensification of political violence in some parts of South Africa to unilateral declarations by some groups to break away from South Africa and form their own homelands. Some scholars have argued that de Klerk narrowly avoided a civil war that would have been severely detrimental to the country and the region as a whole. The decision taken by de Klerk was not an easy one, as he faced opposition not only from the political opponents, but also from his own party (National Party). SOUND COURTESY OF THE SABC RADIO ARCHIVES.Take part on the feature every week day between 6:20 and 6:40 am on SAfm, South Africa's news and information leader, from 104 to 107 Fm

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